This week at the shop... we are celebrating with Heather. It was like walking on eggshells last week for all of us (staff and customers alike) as months of hard graft were followed by days of nail-biting delay in waiting for the results. We all pitied her postman. Things got decidedly worse when Giants failed to get the win against Hull KR and she missed, yet again, the appearance of Brett in the shop. However, Monday morning dawned sunny and warm, we all lay low but the message came through - Heather has gained her Degree in Geography from Manchester! Good on her!
Expect to see a lot more of Heather in the immediate future, as she increases her days in the shop to 4 per week (until she embarks on her graduate career). Not one to sit around revelling in her success, she's thrown herself into 'shop innovations' and research. 'The Fish Counter' has been on her 'to do' list for a while and we now have a fish info board with maps (she is a Geographer) and detail about sourcing, product labels so you don't have to ask what it is, and menu/cooking ideas. After undergraduate-style research, she knows all about bees and honey production now, and she is taking over our 'Local Produce of the Month' campaign to promote eating local fruit and veg in season.
Talking of 'in season', we are mourning the end of the UK asparagus season, but celebrating the increase in local summer produce available now. We're delighted to be in receipt of some top quality veg and salad from Tracy Jackson's plot that would, in previous years, have been destined for the plates of diners at the Weavers Shed. John Berryman's sugar snap peas are beyond comparison with the imported version from Kenya and his kohl rabi are nothing short of beautiful. Helen is working hard on establishing our growers' network with an eye to increasing the percentage of shop stock that can be grown locally. All the rhubarb that we have sold so far has been grown locally, the green stuff has all come from within a few miles of the shop. Garlic is on our 'hit list' now - let us know if you could grow some for next year, as it seems almost impossible to get away from the monopoly by Chinese imports.
And finally, a big thanks to everyone who shopped with us last week - the 'scores on the doors' tell us we had our biggest week of sales since Christmas Week and over a thousand customer transactions. Brilliant.